Networking and planning can be stress-inducing, but there are ways to make it simple. For planners who desire to exploit tech to its fullest, the implementation and use of a few tips and applications will benefit you as well as everyone involved. Smart Meetings talked to Crystal Washington, technology keynote speaker, author and marketing strategist to find out how event professionals succeed in using tech.

1. Make It Personal

Attendees expect a more personalized experience from their meetings, and are much more open to engagement when you relate to them on a personal level. The easy way to let them know you see each of them as an individual is to do some homework on their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page. Grab some morsels of personal detail from these public posts to let them know you care.

Another way is to use your customer-relationship management system—whether it is Act!, Salesforce, Viper or Tripleseat—is to add the information you collected from social media, such as birthdays, favorite foods and interests, to your stored profiles about clients, partners and influencers.

2. Grab that Lead and Keep It

Event professionals are always looking for potential connections to expand their network. Apps, such as Evernote—which is available for both iOS and Android—store scanned business cards for easy retrieval on the go. Connecting your Evernote to your LinkedIn account could open a world of network opportunities if the email accounts in your records and LinkedIn match.

Other cool features include document scanning, which allows you to store insurance files, warranty and product information and receipts for easy mobile access. Advanced note organization using audio recording, web clip and screenshot collecting puts everything you need at your fingertips. You can even take notes using a stylus for that pen-to-paper feel.

3. Get the Snacks!

Imagine that a meeting starts and you realize that you forgot to bring a gift for your business client. It could be just a snack, but it would have made the experience much better. Several apps help during these unfortunate times. Instacart, Doordash, Postmates and Ubereats are a few examples that will save meeting planners the headache that results from rushing to and from the store in hair-pulling traffic.

4. Outsource and Save Time

The life of a planner is a busy one, so much so that other aspects of life can often get out of hand. Freelancing apps such as TaskRabbit and Upwork aid professionals with both personal and career duties.

TaskRabbit provides outsourced freelance work for planners who would rather allocate their time to getting their work done. House cleaning, furniture assembly, installations and general handyman chores can be requested through this app so that meeting planners can devote more of their time to planning their next event.

Upwork is also a freelancing platform, but less centered on home duties and geared toward professional collaboration. Planners can free up their load by working with experts in other fields, as the app provides a list of independent professionals, ranging from designers and writers to virtual assistants and sales and marketing experts, to help with short-term tasks.

Give Some Face Time

Are you searching for alternative ways to connect with clients? If live, face-to-face communication isn’t possible, consider the next best thing: video. Rather than limiting your communication to characters in an email, consulting with clients via video lets them see you in action. Nothing beats face time, and these are just a few beneficial ways planners can use video.
This app makes composing and tracking video emails easier than hammering them out at the keyboard.

Video Tours
Get attendees excited by shooting a hint of what they can look forward to when they get to your venue and see the surrounding attractions.

Custom Backgrounds
Seat-attached green screens create a neutral background that web meeting apps can personalize with nature scenes or a logo.